Personal Training

30 11, 2015

Are You Wearing the Correct Fitness Shoe?

November 30th, 2015|Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS, Director of Personal Training

Are you wearing the correct type of shoe when you exercise?  The right shoe can make or break your workout. After all, an ill-fitting shoe can cause faulty mechanics, pain, and even injury. If you participate in a specific sport or activity more than two times per week, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends wearing a sport-specific shoe. This means you might need different shoes for different activities. Here are some recommendations on shoes for popular fitness modes.

Running

The repetitive nature of running requires extra attention to footwear in order to prevent injury and maximize comfort. Running shoes reduce the impact of each step you take. They are designed for forward motion with specific cushion in the heel and forefoot.  I highly recommend you get fitted at a specialty store.  Your foot type will dictate what type of shoe to get.  Locally I recommend the Running Center and Big River Running – they can analyze your gait and make the appropriate recommendation.

Walking

Walking involves a heavier heel strike, so walking shoes are created to have a round and stiff heel to support the heel-toe action of the gait. When shopping for a new walking shoe, check the flexibility of the sole. The toe box should be able to bend and twist easily for best results. Search for shoes with breathable mesh to keep feet cool on long jaunts.

Weightlifting

To lift weights effectively, a stable foot is required. Look for a shoe that provides a flat and sturdy base like a low-profile cross-trainer. Most cross-trainers work well for the average gym goer because they can be used for weight lifting, plyometric and cardiovascular endurance activities. Cross-trainers, however, are not especially great for any one activity. If you are focusing specifically on Olympic lifting, for example, Olympic lifting shoes provide a rigid structure and small heel lift, which enhances the stability of the foot for explosive power transfer.

Group Fitness Classes

Our Group Fitness and Hybrid Training classes are diverse and demand lateral movement, agility and stability. Look for a pair of lightweight cross-trainers with ankle and arch support. You will likely want a shoe with a wide toe box and a soft, flexible sole to grip the floor and maneuver in a variety of formats. If you attend cycling class on a regular basis, consider a pair of cycling shoes, which provide a solid base to alleviate foot fatigue and clips to allow you to connect with the bike for a more efficient and comfortable pedal stroke.

If the shoe fits…

Once you have the proper shoe for the workout, it’s important to replace them periodically. Shoes may lose their support or cushion long before they actually look worn. In fact, your body may signal shoe break down with aches or pains in your feet, shins, knees or back. A trained professional at a specialty store can recognize wear in your current shoes, watch your gait and provide recommendations. Most experts suggest replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. For those who do not log miles, replace shoes every six months if you work out most days, or every year if you exercise a couple of times per week. You can extend the life of your fitness shoes by using them only when you exercise. If you like the comfort of your fitness shoes for running around town doing errands, consider buying a second pair to act as your “casual” shoe.  Hope this info gets you off on the right foot!

2 11, 2015

5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them

November 2nd, 2015|Group Fitness, Hybrid, Personal Training|0 Comments

5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them
by Randy Leopando

Ever have those days when you feel like the universe is conspiring to keep you from reaching your fitness goals? Even the most committed fitness enthusiasts (myself included) face challenges to staying active. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves. Other times, life interferes with our exercise plans.  With the new year just around the corner, perhaps this blog will give you an head start.

Check out this list of common fitness saboteurs and learn how to combat them with practical strategies that really work:

  1. Stress

When you’re up against a work deadline or the kids are sick, you may feel you can’t handle one more thing, including exercise. But taking time out to go for a brisk walk or workout is one of the best things you can do during times of intense stress. Exercise helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and helps boost your mood, enabling you to cope with whatever you’re facing. Even a short workout is better than nothing.  And believe it or not, a low to moderate intense routine is more ideal when cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels are high.

  1. Unrealistic Expectations

Novice exercisers get frustrated when they expect big results too soon after starting a fitness program. Because they haven’t lost a huge amount of weight or developed six-pack abs after only a week or two of exercise, they throw in the towel. To avoid this mistake, set realistic goals and practice extreme patience. You can’t undo 10 years of a sedentary lifestyle in a week of walking. If you stick with a regimen, your body will respond to exercise. It takes at least six weeks of regular exercise and sometimes more for physiological changes to kick in.  Unfortunately the older you get, the longer it takes to “kick in.”  And don’t forget your nutrition…you can’t out-train a bad diet.

  1. Overtraining

Demanding daily workouts without scheduled rest won’t help you reach your goals faster. Instead, it’ll undermine your progress. Overtraining occurs when the exercise load is excessive related to the amount of time allowed for recovery. Overtaxing the body’s systems leads to decreased performance. Your joints and other soft tissue structures may need extra recovery especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time.  A day or two off from vigorous exercise each week is recommended for rest and recovery. This can be done through a combination of scheduling rest days into your fitness plan and alternating hard and easy workouts. For example, cross-training, swapping out a few runs for swimming or bicycling, is another effective way to avoid overtraining, but scheduled recovery days are still recommended.

  1. The Unexpected

You were going to walk after work, but now you’ve been asked to work late. Or perhaps you got an email that got you distracted and made you complete a task even though it could have waited. Life happens, and you can either throw up your hands and say, “forget it,” or accept it and roll with it. Resilience is your ability to bounce back quickly from life’s surprises and setbacks. This can be improved with practice. Strategies include having a workout “plan B” (i.e. workout at a different time of day like early morning), being mindful of your diet on those off-days, alternating your normal routine that day and make it more active (extra stairs, parking further so you can walk), or putting down that smartphone and give time to yourself.  As you become more resilient, you’re less likely to ditch your workout when something comes up. Instead, you’ll be able to quickly modify your plans and move forward.

  1. Negative Self-Talk

“I’m so lazy, I’ll never be fit;” “I didn’t even exercise once this week;” “I’m such a loser.” Would you talk to a friend or loved one this way? Listening to negative self-talk isn’t motivating, so what’s the point? Negative self-talk only destroys your confidence and motivation to the point where you can’t visualize success. But you don’t have to put up with it. The next time you recognize a critical thought, stop it and replace it with a positive thought, like this: “I’m so proud of myself for walking at lunch time today. It took a lot of effort, but I did it.” Behavior change is hard. Give yourself some credit for every step you take toward your fitness goals.

Sources: American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org)

 

2 10, 2015

So You Want to Spot Reduce?

October 2nd, 2015|Group Fitness, News, Personal Training|1 Comment

So You Want to Spot Reduce

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS
Director of Personal Training

Besides launching millions of sit-ups, leg lifts and torso twists, the desire for a toned and taut physique has sold a long line of exercise devices. Countless inventions, such as vibrating belts and ”gut-busting” contraptions, have claimed to miraculously tighten and tone our trouble spots.  But the miracles we were expecting never materialized, and our ”spots” remained ”unreduced.”

What’s wrong with spot reduction?

Where did we go wrong? In our efforts to tone our bodies we neglected the most important factor: fat. Exercises such as crunches or leg lifts improve the tone and endurance of the muscles, but they don’t burn fat. When we do exercises that elevate the heart rate, such as bicycling, walking or aerobic dance, the body will draw upon its fat stores for energy.

Alternative solutions

An exercise program that combines aerobic activity and strength training is the key to changing the shape of your body.  In addition to burning calories through aerobic activity, strength training will increase the amount of muscle, which burns even more calories, even at rest. But many people shun the idea of intensive exercise, scared off by the idea of five-mile runs, barbells or aerobic classes.  Thankfully, any aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate can help you burn fat and take off unwanted pounds. Many experts recommend doing at least three sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Ideally, for long-term weight control, you should engage in at least four sessions per week, for 45 minutes each time.

For instance, these enjoyable alternatives to traditional aerobic exercise are effective fat burners:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Road cycling
  • In-line Skating
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Boxing
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Swimming

Remember to choose an activity because it interests you, not because it is touted as a great workout.  A few things to keep in mind when starting any new activity:

  • Don’t start out too hard or too fast or you may injure yourself or quit before enjoying any benefit.
  • Always concentrate on enjoying yourself, rather than on what a particular exercise might do for you.
  • Keep your exercise comfortable and only increase intensity after your body becomes accustomed to new activity levels.

Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you’re over 40, or have cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease. To determine what your target heart rate should be, ask a NutriFormance trainer to calculate the numbers – all we need is your age and resting heart rate.

A final word about toning exercises

Just because exercises like leg lifts and crunches won’t budge the fat does not mean they are not beneficial. Unlike some aerobic activities, these exercises can strengthen and tone specific muscles of the body.  The best way to shape up is to incorporate strength and toning exercises with aerobic exercises. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling better.

3 09, 2015

The Functional Movement Screen

September 3rd, 2015|Endurance, Group Fitness, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

The Functional Movement Screen

By Randy Leopando, BS, CSCS, FMS
Director of Personal Training and Performance Enhancement

In October of this year (2015), I will be spending my 18th year at NutriFormance.  From a fitness industry perspective, a lot has changed and/or evolved over the years as a trainer.  One thing continues to remain important at NutriFormance – functional training and the importance of proper movement patterns.  Functional training involves a lot of movement-based strength exercises and core engagement.  Proper movement patterns involve a good balance of core stability and joint mobility.  One way we look at one’s movement quality is through the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

The FMS looks at fundamental movements, motor control within movements, and a competence of basic movement patterns. Its job is to determine movement deficiency and uncover asymmetry. The evaluation is done by a simple grading system, and should be conducted by a certified professional.

The system was developed by Physical Therapist Gray Cook in 1998. The goal was to use the screen to add insight to movement problems that would ultimately lead to the best exercise choices and program design for individuals that would minimize risk of injury.  The FMS is designed for all healthy, active people, and for healthy, inactive people who want to increase physical activity. It is designed for those that do not have pain or injury.

The FMS itself is a series of seven different movements. By screen, this does not mean it’s a diagnostic tool. The FMS is not diagnostic at all. It is a proven tool that looks objectively at quality of movement. It is extremely objective, reliable, and reproducible. It used by a wide range of health care professionals.

The seven tests require a balance of mobility and stability. Mobility and stability are the essential elements of the movement patterns in the FMS. If there are limitations in either, the FMS will reveal them.  What often happens is people are putting exercise and performance on top of dysfunctional movement, which can impair performance and cause injuries. 

Once the FMS has revealed a dysfunction, an appropriate exercise strategy can be implemented to correct the problem. This is part of the magic of the FMS and corrective exercise system.

If you have questions about the FMS, or would like to have the FMS screen conducted on yourself, contact me randyl@NutriFormance.com.

31 07, 2015

Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis

July 31st, 2015|Nutrition, Personal Training|0 Comments

Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis
by Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS,
Director of Personal Training

Osteoporosis is an age-related disorder in which bones become gradually thinner, more porous and less able to support the weight of the body. It has a debilitating effect on quality of life, as it limits a person’s independence.

This condition attacks both men and women, but women usually suffer more severely because bone loss accelerates rapidly after menopause. About half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osterporosis. By the time a woman reaches the age of 70, she may have lost as much as 30% of her bone density.

Prevention Is Key

The following lifestyle-related factors may lead to the development of osteoporosis:

  • Lack of exercise and physical activity
  • Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies
  • Prolonged use of certain medications, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated (cola) beverages
  • Smoking

Other risk factors include:

  • Being Caucasian or Asian
  • Having a small or thin frame
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis

The good news is that your risk for osteoporosis may be reduced by a combination of exercise and good nutrition. Here’s how:

Get Plenty of Exercise and Physical Activity

Weightbearing exercises can help prevent bone loss and may encourage bone growth. Specific bone sites are more prone to breaks due to the type of bone they contain, including the upper arm (at the shoulder joint), the forearm (at the wrist joint), the thigh (at the hip joint) and the spine. Exercises that load, compress and stress bones are needed to strengthen them. This process is known as “bone loading.”

Before beginning any exercise program, always consult your physician, who will determine whether exercise will be beneficial to you. If you’re given the go-ahead, start slowly and build up over time. If you already have osteoporosis or low bone density, your doctor may prescribe supervised exercise with a physical therapist, exercise physiologist or personal trainer who can show you safe ways to move and exercise.

An ideal program should include aerobic weightbearing exercises four days per week and resistance training two to three days a week. Include flexibility exercises on most days of the week and avoid forward bending of the spine. Weightbearing exercises include walking, running and weight training. Improving muscle strength helps conserve bone mass, but remember that the form of exercise selected should in part be based on individual preferences and previous experience, and must not generate any joint pain. Try to include a variety of exercises that will stimulate as many different bones as possible.

Perform cardiovascular exercises at low-to-moderate intensities. Perform resistance exercises for one or two sets of eight to 10 repetitions at a moderate intensity. Stick with your program and slowly progress to working out at least 20 to 30 minutes at each session. Additionally, always try to include functional exercises in your daily activities. These include exercises such as chair sit-to-stands and single-leg stands that can be performed for 30 seconds two to five times a week. These functional activities will improve your balance and your ability to perform everyday activities.

Eat for Stronger Bones

Did you know that two-thirds of your bone is composed of calcium? You can bolster your bone strength by eating a high-calcium, high-fiber, low-fat diet. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy products
  • Fish with bones
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Almonds, seeds, beans and soy
  • Fortified cereals

You also need vitamin D to help absorb calcium. The best source of vitamin D is the sun. About 15 minutes of daily exposure to the back of your hands and face is usually sufficient. People with darker skin may require more time. Sunscreen prevents your body from making vitamin D. If you’re worried about skin damage, some food sources of vitamin D are fish, fortified milk, juice and cereal.

Bones to Last a Lifetime

Bone-loading exercise and a balanced diet are important components of preventing osteoporosis. If you take care of your bones now, they will stay strong enough to carry you safely through a lifetime of health and activity.

1 07, 2015

Training in the Heat

July 1st, 2015|Endurance, Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

by Randy Leopando

You’ve been exercising regularly, but now it’s summer — and hot. Sometimes even dangerously hot, and seemingly too hot to go work out.

But don’t decide this is the time for a little summer break from fitness, experts say, because you may be hurting yourself in the longer term.

“It’s important to continue exercising over the summer because the effects of exercise training are rapidly lost once training stops — use it or lose it,” said Barry Franklin, Ph.D., director of the William Beaumont Hospital Cardiac Rehab and Exercise Laboratories in Royal Oak, Mich. “Most studies suggest many of the key benefits are lost in four to six weeks of inactivity.”

Be smarter than the heat

Still, you can’t just ignore the heat because you could wind up with heat stress, heat stroke or other problems. So to keep the heat from melting your workouts, Franklin recommends you:

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Maintain salt-water balance by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during and after physical activity.  Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  2. Exercise smarter, not harder. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, preferably when the sun’s radiation is minimal — early in the morning or early in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity.  And don’t hesitate to take your exercise inside, to the gym, the mall or anyplace else where you can get in regular physical activity.
  3. Ease in to summer. Allow your body to adapt partially to heat through repeated gradual daily exposures. “An increase in the body’s circulatory and cooling efficiency, called acclimatization, generally occurs in only four to 14 days,” Franklin said.
  4. Dress the part. Wear minimal amounts of clothing to facilitate cooling by evaporation. “Remember, it’s not sweating that cools the body; rather, the evaporation of sweat into the atmosphere,” Franklin said. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton.
  5. Team up.  If you can, exercise with a friend or family member. It’s safer, and could be more fun.

Know what’s up

Because vigorous exercise in hot and humid conditions can lead to heat stress, heat stroke and related complications, you should know the signs of danger to keep an eye out for.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Headaches
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Warm, dry or moist skin
  • Strong and rapid pulse
  • Confusion and/or unconsciousness
  • High body temperature (above 103oF)
  • Throbbing headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Take steps to cool down and get medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

 

8 05, 2015

Children and Running

May 8th, 2015|Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

Children and Running
by Randy Leopando

It is important to help your kids develop the exercise habit so they can grow to be healthy, active adults.  So, if your children have expressed an interest in running or a desire to participate in a race or two, don’t discourage them! Running is a great natural sport that requires very little equipment.  The important thing is to let them determine their own pace and to run only if it’s fun and enjoyable.

A few precautions before getting started 

Check with a physician to rule out any physical limitations that may prevent your child from participating in a running program. Keep in mind that children’s bodies, although young and energetic, are not capable of performing at the same level as an adult’s.  For example, kids are more sensitive to heat, so it is essential that they drink plenty of water and avoid running in the heat of the day. ”Children have a higher body mass to skin surface ratio and may not be able to dissipate heat as well as adults,” says Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a board-certified specialist in sports medicine and pediatrics.

As muscles begin to heat up, it is OK to begin running. Also, show them how to stretch their calves, hip flexors and hamstrings after cooling down at the end of each run.

Finding their form 

Since running is a natural action, most children will develop their own form. Encourage your child to relax his or her hands and face while running. A scrunched face and clenched fists indicate tension, which usually means the intensity is too high and the child is straining rather than having fun.

Like adults, kids should be able to carry on a conversation while running and should be able to smile. Urge them to slow down if necessary and keep their shoulders relaxed while steadily and smoothly swinging their arms.

To help them avoid slapping their feet on the ground, have children imagine running on light feet. For example, rather than pounding like a herd of elephants, tell them to run as if they are angels running on clouds or tigers running very lightly so they don’t scare their prey.

How far should they go? 

Children will gauge their own limitations, so always listen when they say it’s time to stop. Children should run only as far as they are comfortable. Sports medicine experts recommend children under the age of 14 run no farther than 3 miles at a time. The reason is that bones are still growing and the growth cartilage at the ends of the bones is softer than adult cartilage and more vulnerable to injury.

Don’t put pressure on your child to run. Encourage kids to come with you on short runs, but keep the pace slow enough that they can talk to you, and stop when they are tired. Kids should not begin running races above 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) until they are at least of high school age.  Most marathons will not allow athletes under the age of 18 to enter due to possible skeletal injuries.

Although running requires minimal equipment, it is important to invest in some supportive running shoes for your children. Look for a high-quality shoe that is made for running, with proper cushioning in the forefoot and heel as well as arch support. Depending on how often your child runs, replace running shoes as soon as they show signs of breakdown, which usually occurs after about three months. I recommend you go to a running store with staff that can do a quick analysis of your child’s feet and running/walking gait so they can make recommendations on shoes.

Set attainable goals 

For children, the goal of running is to stay in shape and have fun, with a greater emphasis on the fun. Running fast or winning races is less important and may cause children to dislike exercise or abandon it altogether.  Focus instead on improving your children’s self-esteem by praising their efforts and helping them reach their goals. Chances are that if they enjoy running and feel a sense of pride when they are finished, they will remain active for life.

3 04, 2015

Gearing up for Golf

April 3rd, 2015|Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

By Randy Leopando, CSCS
Director of Personal Training

Golf has exploded onto the sports scene over the last several years. While some view the sport as slow-paced, golf actually requires a great deal of strength and stamina, not to mention skill. Your muscles, particularly those of the legs, hips, and upper torso, must be both strong and flexible to keep your handicap below an embarrassing level.

 The key components

To be successful in golf there are three components of fitness that you should focus on: strength/power, flexibility/mobility, and cardiovascular endurance. These also are the three most important components of any well-rounded fitness program.

Strength and power

Developing muscular strength and power is essential for generating club head speed, a determining factor in how far you can hit the ball.  One or more sets of eight to 12 repetitions of key exercises should be performed three days per week.

A recent study found this regimen to be extremely effective. As similar studies have shown, strength training brings about significant improvements in lean body weight, reduced body fat, increased leg strength and joint flexibility and a reduction in systolic blood pressure.

But more important, at least to the golfers in this study, was the significant improvement in club head speed. The 17 exercisers increased the speed of their swing by an average of 5 mph. The control group experienced no such improvements.

Flexibility and mobility

Flexibility is another important key to developing a full, fluid golf swing. Simply swinging the club is not enough, but you can increase the range of motion in your shoulders, trunk, low back and hamstrings with just a few minutes of daily stretching.

But don’t save your stretching until five minutes before you tee off. Flexibility exercises must be done every day. And always warm up your muscles before you stretch them to increase your range of motion and prevent injury.

Cardiovascular conditioning

Finally, cardiovascular conditioning is essential to help you keep your energy up during a long round of golf. That conditioning can help you deal with the stress of making a crucial putt or of getting out of a sand trap.

Try to fit in at least 20 minutes of walking, cycling or whatever aerobic activity you prefer, 3-4 times per week.

Improving your golf game requires a bit more than simply playing a lot of golf, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. You’ll not only come closer to par, but you’ll also reap numerous health benefits, such as increased lean body weight, reduced body fat, lower blood pressure and increased strength and flexibility.

RL

17 02, 2015

HSSC – St Louis FC M/F Charlie Renken works out at Athletic Republic

February 17th, 2015|Media, Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

1 02, 2015

Gearing Up for Golf

February 1st, 2015|Golf, Personal Training|0 Comments

by Randy Leopando, BS, CSCS

Golf has exploded onto the sports scene over the last several years. While some view the sport as slow-paced, golf actually requires a great deal of strength and stamina, not to mention skill. Your muscles, particularly those of the legs, hips, and upper torso, must be both strong and flexible to keep your handicap below an embarrassing level.

The key components
To be successful in golf there are three components of fitness that you should focus on: strength/power, flexibility/mobility, and cardiovascular endurance. These also are the three most important components of any well-rounded fitness program.

Strength and power
Developing muscular strength and power is essential for generating club head speed, a determining factor in how far you can hit the ball.  One or more sets of eight to 12 repetitions of key exercises should be performed three days per week.

A recent study found this regimen to be extremely effective. As similar studies have shown, strength training brings about significant improvements in lean body weight, reduced body fat, increased leg strength and joint flexibility and a reduction in systolic blood pressure.

But more important, at least to the golfers in this study, was the significant improvement in club head speed. The 17 exercisers increased the speed of their swing by an average of 5 mph. The control group experienced no such improvements.

Flexibility and mobility
Flexibility is another important key to developing a full, fluid golf swing. Simply swinging the club is not enough, but you can increase the range of motion in your shoulders, trunk, low back and hamstrings with just a few minutes of daily stretching.

But don’t save your stretching until five minutes before you tee off. Flexibility exercises must be done every day. And always warm up your muscles before you stretch them to increase your range of motion and prevent injury.

Cardiovascular conditioning
Finally, cardiovascular conditioning is essential to help you keep your energy up during a long round of golf. That conditioning can help you deal with the stress of making a crucial putt or of getting out of a sand trap.

Try to fit in at least 20 minutes of walking, cycling or whatever aerobic activity you prefer, 3-4 times per week.

Final Thoughts
Improving your golf game requires a bit more than simply playing a lot of golf, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. You’ll not only come closer to par, but you’ll also reap numerous health benefits, such as increased lean body weight, reduced body fat, lower blood pressure and increased strength and flexibility.

5 01, 2015

10 Tips to Keep your Fitness New Year Resolution on Track

January 5th, 2015|Personal Training|0 Comments

by Randy Leopando

Chances are at some time in your life you’ve made a New Year’s resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get healthy, you will have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are 10 tips to help you get started.

 1. Be Realistic

The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.

 2. Plan Ahead

Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.

 3. Outline Your Plan

Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.

4. Make a “Pros” and “Cons” List

It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.

 5. Talk About It

Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.

 6. Reward Yourself

This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.

 7. Track Your Progress

Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.

 8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.

9. Stick to It

Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!

10. Keep Trying

If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.

28 11, 2014

Get Ready to Hit the Slopes

November 28th, 2014|Personal Training|0 Comments

Get Ready to Hit the Slopes
by Randy Leopando

You don’t have to wait for the snow to start falling to get ready for ski season. Start your training now and you’ll be sailing past those other ski bums on your way down the mountain.

Dusting the competition or showing off to friends are not the only reasons to get in shape before ski season. Skiing is an activity that requires a variety of skills: strength, endurance, balance and coordination. Hit the slopes without developing these skills and you may be in for more than a little embarrassment – you might even hurt yourself.

Sports specific training 

This is where sports-specific training comes in. Generally speaking, sports-specific training programs involve focusing on the various skills associated with a particular activity.  Depending on the sport, this may include health-related fitness components such as cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.  A specific program may also take into account skill-related measures of fitness such as agility, balance, coordination, power, speed and reaction time. Most sports require a mixture of these components.

Skiing is a sport that relies heavily on skill-related fitness. A traditional fitness program, which includes a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise, will only take you so far.   A specific training program to develop specific skills for skiing will take you from the peaks to the valleys in record time.

Get ready to ski 

There are several ways to begin a sports-specific training program. The simplest way is to include several new exercises in your regular workout schedule.  For example, performing wall sits that require you to ”sit” against a wall will help build up the isometric strength needed for the tuck position in skiing. Squats and lunges will build lower body strength for skiing tough terrain like moguls.  Exercises such as planks or trunk rotations with the cable to work your abdominals are essential in creating a solid ”core” for balance and agility.  It is important to train your body to withstand and absorb the impact associated with skiing. Plyometric movements, such as hopping from side to side, develop muscle power and strength as well as improve agility.

Set up your own ski circuit 

A great way to integrate these elements into your existing routine is to create a circuit training program, which involves rapidly moving from one exercise to the next, similar to what many NutriFormance trainers are doing with their clients.  A common circuit is 3-4 exercises with a maximum 30 seconds rest in between each exercise.  Your goal is to complete 3 sets for each circuit.    Add some of these exercises to your routine:  lateral hops over a cone for lateral agility; single leg squats for leg strength and balance; planks holds for core strength; squat jumps for leg power and shock absorption; and wall-sits to increase quad isometric strength similar to the tuck position.  One way to really maximize your time is to do a “wall-sit” while you do bicep curls, shoulder presses, or lateral shoulder raises – basically anything you do standing up, do a wall-sit instead!  Good luck this year on the slopes.

30 10, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing

October 30th, 2014|Endurance, Personal Training|0 Comments

By Randy Leopando

A little exercise is good for you, so more must be better, right? Well, sometimes. And sometimes more is just that — more. There comes a point of diminishing returns or, worse, a point where your body says “Enough!”

Everyone reaches this point at different times. Triathletes, for example, are able to withstand the rigors of three-sport training — running, cycling and swimming — at levels unthinkable to most. For others, an extra step class or hitting the weights too hard can put them over the top. In the quest for better health and fitness, it is sometimes difficult to quell one’s enthusiasm and take a break from exercise. But if exercise is leaving you more exhausted than energized, you could be suffering from an acute case of overtraining.

Know the Signs
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of overtraining before they become chronic. Physical signs of overtraining include:

  • decreased performance
  • loss of coordination
  • prolonged recovery
  • elevated morning heart rate
  • elevated resting blood pressure
  • headaches
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle soreness/tenderness
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • decreased ability to ward off infection
  • increased incidence of musculoskeltal injuries
  • disturbed sleep patterns

Keep in mind that not all of the signs of overtraining are physical. Much like regular exercise has a positive effect on mood and stress levels, too much exercise can do just the opposite, leaving the exerciser irritable and depressed, particularly as the quality of the workouts declines. Psychological and emotional signs of overtraining include depression, apathy, difficulty concentrating, emotional sensitivity and reduced self-esteem.

Understand the Cause
Once you recognize the symptoms of overtraining, it’s important to understand and honestly confront the cause. For some, overtraining occurs as a result of an upcoming competition. Increased training prior to an event is understandable, but if it’s interfering with your health and wellbeing, you have to question its worth. The solution may be as easy as reducing the rate at which you increase your training intensity. The body needs sufficient time to adjust to your increased demands. Triathletes don’t start out running 10 miles, cycling 100 miles and swimming 1,000 meters all at once. They gradually increase their training to allow their bodies to adapt.

For others, the basis for overtraining may have more to do with emotional or psychological reasons than physical ones. Much like eating disorders, exercise addiction is now recognized as a legitimate problem. Exercising beyond the point of exhaustion, while injured, or to the exclusion of all other aspects of one’s life — these are some of the signs of exercise addiction. It’s a difficult problem to recognize, particularly in a culture where discipline and control are lauded.

Individuals who exercise excessively are risking more than poor performance: They’re risking their health. Overuse syndrome, which may lead to more serious injuries, is common. And the emotional cost of isolating oneself in order to exercise can be devastating. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or in a friend, it is essential that you seek professional help.

The ‘M’ Word
The key, it seems, to staying healthy is to do everything in moderation, which is best viewed as something relative to one’s own fitness level and goals. Don’t expect to exercise an hour every day simply because your very fit friend does. The body needs time to adjust, adapt and, yes, even recuperate. Exercising to the point of overtraining is simply taking one step forward, two steps back — not exactly good training tactics.

21 07, 2014

Benefits of Foam Rolling

July 21st, 2014|Personal Training|0 Comments

1. Decreases muscle soreness. Post workout foam rolling is shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve range of motion. This allows for faster recovery between workouts.

2. Decreases fatigue. Pre-workout foam rolling decreases fatigue post workout.

3. Improves static stretching. Combining foam rolling with static stretching (post workout) can increase range of motion over static stretching alone.

4. Increases blood flow to the muscle. This is how you can decrease soreness post workout. Allowing for increased blood supply aka more oxygen to the muscle.

5 02, 2014

FnF Partner Workout

February 5th, 2014|Fitness n' Fuel, Personal Training|0 Comments

We love a good themed workout and February is heart month and Valentine’s Day so here’s a way to get that heart rate up with your Valentine! Get your timer ready and a small item to pass between partners (we used a water bottle).

See Dale & Ellie demo the exercises HERE

Start with a dynamic warm up. Set your timer for 20 secs work/10 secs rest. You will complete 8 rounds in each set alternating between the 2 exercises. After each 4 minute set, complete the partner exercise.

  1. Push ups/Squat Jumps followed by v-sit twist & pass (10 reps each side)
  2. Burpees/Lateral lunges followed by plank reach & pass (10 reps each side)
  3. Wide plank knee ins/Squat jacks followed by squat pass with extention (20 reps)
  4. Mountain climbers/Rev. super lunge followed by side plank pass with rotation (10 reps each side)
  5. Split jumps/Functional push ups followed by lunge twist & pass

Finish with a partner stretch!

Read this month’s nutrition tip: Unlock the energy in food

 

10 12, 2013

Football Inspired Workout as featured by Self Magazine

December 10th, 2013|Fitness n' Fuel, Personal Training|0 Comments

photo (20)

This month, Johnny Johnson, Sports Performance Coach and Personal Trainer joins Kim Wallis and Emily Bailey to share his total body football inspired workout recently featured by Self Magazine. The speed and agility training done by athletes will help you burn calories and stay strong through the holidays. Not to mention, exercise can help reduce stress during this hectic time of year! See the video demo and written workout below:

VIDEO: FnF Football Workout Demo

10-12 reps of each static strength exercise

  • Knee hug to lunge
  • Hip cradle to single leg RDL
  • Side to side lunge
  • Push up with tap
  • Squat jumps
  • Wall abs

Timed cardio drills. 30 secs work to 30 secs rest x 4

  • After 1st set: pro agility
  • After 2nd set: shuffle to sprint
  • After 3rd set: L-cone drill

Want to know to the truth about your holiday cocktails and treats? Read HERE…

Check out last month’s Cardio Dance routine with Leo for another fun way to keep fit during the holidays!

21 08, 2013

A POWERful Workout

August 21st, 2013|Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, Personal Training, Sports Performance|0 Comments

We are very excited to be the first facility in St. Louis to offer classes on the new Spinner Blade Ion and instructors certified to teach power training. The newest equipment and technology in Spinning will take our Cycling Program to the next level with accurate feedback about your power output. The Blade Spinners will be here the first week of September and we are bringing in Angie Sturtevant, Power Specialist Master Instructor, for a day-long intensive training to teach our cycling staff all about our new bikes and power meters.

VIDEO: POWERful Training

Everything you know and love about Indoor Cycling will be enhanced with the addition of the power meters. If you’ve never truly measured your effort in class, you will be amazed by how it enhances your training. Our instructors will still bring the same energy, intensity and creativity to their classes now with the ability to guide you more efficiently. NutriFormance is dedicated to providing intelligent, results driven programs. Whether your goals are cardiovascular health, weight loss, endurance training or sports performance, you will benefit from our upgraded cycling program.

6 08, 2013

Eat Clean, Train Dirty

August 6th, 2013|Fitness n' Fuel, Personal Training|0 Comments

As summer winds down, we want to take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors before winter! Emily Bailey and Kim Wallis show you a “playground circuit” and share tips on eating organic.

Our playground workout is very versatile and can be modified to any fitness level. The 4 mini circuits can be repeated 2-3 times for an intense total body workout, or pick and choose the stations and exercises to fit your needs! We recommend 10 reps of each exercise (10 each side if unilateral).

Watch the video for demos and nutrition tips! The exercises are listed below.

Eat Clean, Train Dirty – playground circuit

Station 1: Swings

  • push up-crunch
  • pistol squats
  • forearm plank pike
  • balance lunge

Station 2: Monkey Bars

  • monkey swings
  • jump squat tap
  • hanging knee raises
  • pull ups

Station 3: Slide

  • Single leg ladder climb
  • decline sit ups
  • single leg hip bridges
  • lateral slide jump over

Station 4: bench

  • uneven squats
  • push up/tricep dip flip
  • calf raises
  • toe taps

Enjoy the rest of your summer! Check back for a new workout and more nutrition tips in September!

 

20 07, 2013

Vacation Fitness

July 20th, 2013|Media, Personal Training|0 Comments

Our Director of Training was on KSDK5 with Kelly Jackson to show a fun way to get exercise in while on vacation.  Little did you know you’ve been packing a piece of fitness equipment every time you travel. Here is the KSDK version, as well as the full version with instructions.

http://www.ksdk.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=2557055328001

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyDAxeIGyWs

 

1 05, 2013

Make Short Term Goals Last a Lifetime

May 1st, 2013|Nutrition, Personal Training|1 Comment

Over the years we have met many clients with specific goal achievement dates in their heads- whether it was a wedding, 20 year class reunion, a doctor’s appointment or an athletic event such as a 10K.  While it is great to set these short term goals, we really strive to get clients to explore how we are going to make these healthy changes last a lifetime.

I began exercising very early after years of watching my father get up very early before work and exercise before heading off to McDonnell Douglas.  It just sort of stuck and became a part of my life.  We want to make you the same sort of role model for your children- but it can’t be all-or- nothing; black and white; eat this but never eat that; or succeed or fail.  It is finding a balance, a fit for you that is comfortable, enjoyable and non-interfering of all of life’s many responsibilities.  In fact, I would say that fitness (nutrition, exercise and bodywork) should ignite your life and make your more productive and happier every day.

This is why we offer many different modalities of fitness.  Our philosophy is really about finding what works for each individual and creating a blended program that helps them succeed.

We hope to help you find your success in 2013!

Sincerely, Dale